Acts 17

Before Reading.

  • Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.

Reading.

  • Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
  • Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
  • Take a note if you have question, inspiration.

Read    Acts 17

Read with map

Commentary.

Diaspora(scattered) Jews built synagogue where they lived for gathering of people, and teaching their history and tradition. During missionary journey, Paul mostly taught at the synagogue.

At Thessalonica — Paul taught at the synagogue about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some Jews and large number of Greeks followed Paul. But he was forced out by Jews out of jealousy, accusing him of troubling.   

At Berea —- Paul taught at the synagogue at Berea. People in Berea were noble character, eager to learn the Scripture. Many Jews as well as Greeks believed. Paul was forced out by the Jews as well.

At Athens — Athens was a city of philosophy, debating on many deities. Epicurean was a group of philosopher who believe in the pleasure of life by attaining a state of tranquility, freedom from fear and pain. Stoics taught self-control and self-discipline to overcome destructive emotion. To them the teaching of Paul about Jesus Christ, his suffering, death and resurrection was a strange idea, another philosophy.

“Unknown god.” — This statement explained the context of Athens, religious people, making many deities out of their own philosophy. Paul’s teaching revealing unknown god to known God who created the universe was apologetic, philosophical approach. But he did not receive good fruitfulness, compared to other places he gained. Why? There was no record of empowerment of the Holy Spirit for Paul in Athens.  He just persuaded people with philosophical explanation.

After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.

  • Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
  • How do you invoke the power of the Holy Spirit when you witness Jesus Christ to others?  
  • Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
  • Live it out through the day.

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